Cotton Update: GCC, UGA Encourage Growers to be Timely in Harvests

Dan Cotton, Georgia, Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC)

By Clint Thompson


The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) and University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Cotton Team encourage growers that still have cotton left to be harvested to be timely in their defoliation sprays and take advantage when weather permits.

Camp Hand, UGA Extension cotton agronomist, provided an update.

Georgia Cotton
Camp Hand
UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist

“We’re about to get into our typical November, December pattern where it’s going to be hit and miss on the rain. Be mindful of the weather and just try to get what you can out,” Hand said. “I just think we’re getting into that pattern, and it’s going to be raining a few days a week. We’ve run into a situation where I don’t think it is great.

“Try to be mindful of your defoliation. We want three sunny days, but if you can get two that’s great, right after your spray. Try to get all of your cotton out in 10 to 14 days after you spray it. You may need to wait three weeks when it’s cool as it is outside. Those are the biggies right now. Try to be timely on all of that stuff but also working around the weather at the same time.”


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, cotton harvests in Georgia reached 57% on Nov. 12. That is compared to 67% at that time last year.

“It just feels like we’re behind. There are a few reasons for that I think. A lot of it I think comes down to the peanut crop’s behind, too. That kind of pushed folks behind a little bit,” Hand said. “We caught up on heat units in August. It wasn’t necessarily that the crop wasn’t ready, I just don’t know that we had all of our ducks in a row. The peanut crop was behind, and we still got ate up by tomato spotted wilt. It was just a tough situation all around. Then we run into this early frost for the second year in a row. That bit some folks pretty good. “We had a frost a few weeks ago, and it was pretty bad in spots.”